MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — On Sunday, May 29, 2022, Blue Star Mothers of Northeast Louisiana placed a memorial wreath in remembrance of fallen heroes. The organization invited the public to attend the Memorial Day weekend event in the front of the American Legion Building on Forsythe Avenue in Monroe at 7 p.m.

Jayme Watson is the President of Blue Star Mothers of Northeast Louisiana. Blue Star Mothers, and sometimes fathers, are parents who have active duty soldiers. Gold Star mothers and families have loved ones who have died in service to our country or while on leave.

“One of our responsibilities as a Blue Star is taking care of our Gold Star families,” Watson said. “We know that it could be us. And no one prays harder for our families than the Gold Stars… They don’t want us to be gold.”

Throughout the year, the Blue Stars do things for the Gold Stars to support them through their loss. The Blue stars called out 56 names, from 2004 to present, of fallen Gold Star Northeast Louisiana soldiers.

“It’s so important for blue star moms. We keep a promise that we make to the parents of these fallen heroes, to always remember their son or daughter and we do that by saying their name,” Watson said. “Memorial Day seems especially to be a blessed day, the right day to call these names to make sure that they’re not forgotten… that their sacrifice that we are so grateful for.” 

Watson reported that the Gold Star names included soldiers who died in service, or from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and related issues, that the Blue Star Mothers of Northeast Louisiana are aware of. Also included were those who most recently have been recovered and returned to their homes to rest in peace, according to Watson.

Throughout the the year, the Blue Star Mothers send soldiers cards and care packages and hold fundraisers to help do so. They also help in the community to support veterans. They said it’s important that everyone remembers fallen soldiers.

Toni and Jeannie, the Adams sisters, sung the National Anthem. VFW Post Commander Chris LeGuin presented the wreath. Keith Joyner played Amazing Grace and Taps. City of Monroe’s First Lady Ashley Ellis read Scripture. Ouachita Presbyterian Church Pastor Harris Bond performed a memorial prayer. Kara Hawkins is a Blue Star Mother. She read the following poem.

A poem titled We Will Remember. Provided by Jayme Watson. “They went with songs to the battle, they were young. Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow. They were staunch to end against odds uncounted, They fell with their faces to the foe. They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”

“It was just really nice. It’s an opportunity for us as blue stars to give back to the gold and to let the community know who it is that, these flags fly for and because of,” Watson said. “There’s a poem about how the wind is not what blows these flags, but these flags blow from the breath of the soldiers that died from defending it.”

Watson said they plan to hold this event next year, and hopefully not add anymore names. For more information about the Blue Star Mothers of Northeast Louisiana visit their Facebook page here.